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Guns N' Roses => Guns N' Roses => Topic started by: Dark Angel on July 27, 2008, 09:26:46 AM

Title: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Dark Angel on July 27, 2008, 09:26:46 AM

Batttttty goes on a hot date with

For years now, since ages before he joined Guns N' Roses,
I've carried a candle aloft for Ron Thal, known also as Bumblefoot.
This amazingly inventive and innovative musician
has an honesty and rawness that shines through in everything he does,
and I'm proud - and at the same time humbled - to call him my friend.
OK, that's enough of the hero-worship stuff - let's cut to the action.

Ron has been interviewed many times about his musical influences,
his fretless'n'fancy-shaped guitars, his appreciation of South Park, and of course
the Chinese Democracy blahblahblah. So we won't go into all that stuff again here.

The main thing you need to know is that his passion for peppers has got to the point
where just one more capsaicin molecule could blow his head right off.
But he rigorously flosses his teeth after every mouthful of Scotch Bonnet,
and if you ever need a partition wall or a bit of cavity insulation, he's yer man.

Oh yeh, and he's part of the team which is putting together
which is why I met up with him today for a
Bih Jolokia curry drenched in Tabasco sauce

You're one of the movers'n'shakers behind Rock Against Diabetes, a concert that is raising money to help people with diabetes. What is it about this charity that caused you to get involved, and how is the event coming together?

We started talking about it earlier in the year. The organizer told me he was going to throw his prosthetic foot on stage while I played - that's what hooked me. Since then, I've volunteered time to help reach out to acts and sponsors, to take part in auctions, and hopefully help some sick kids get what they need. We're in the last month before the show, tying up loose ends, putting out fires, the usual last-minute mayhem that ensues in the final stages of any event.

All credit to you for the amount of work you've put into this project - I know how much you get personally involved with lots of charitible causes, such as raising money for Multiple Sclerosis after your pal was diagnosed with MS - and also after 911, when you donated the profits of your 911 album to the disaster relief organisations. Bless you, from the bottom of SITN's heart!
There's more detail about Rock Against Diabetes at the link on the left, but just to give SITN readers the basics.... this one-off show, which features sets from Ritchie Kotzen, Y&T, LA Guns, and of course Bumblefoot and his Allstar Band etc, will be streamed live on the web - check for more info.
And for just twenty bucks you can get a Limited Edition Rock Against Diabetes t-shirt. The money goes to Rock Against Diabetes, the charity which raises funds for diabetics, especially children, who have contracted this lifelong condition. Everyone who buys a t-shirt is entered into a draw to win a brand new Gibson Les Paul BFG guitar.
Bumble will personalize it for the winner, along with a load of cds and other stuff signed by all the participating bands. On top of that the winner will get a 3-hour guitar lesson from Bumble in NYC.  How sweet is that (in a sugar-controlled environment)! Bumble, YOU ROCK!

Now, you make no secret of the fact that you're one crazy mofo - the biography on your website is heartwrenchingly honest about the issues you've had to deal with.

I'm probably the least crazy person I know. But please, continue.... ...

Me too darlin - yeh... right - but truthfully, my own family is steeped in madness, and it's a very misunderstood condition. And whilst I don't want to trivialise it in any way, from my own experiences I've found that hypermania can be a lot of fun, even if sometimes the only person who can see the joke is the one who's got it! So, while we're both up here on the couch baring our souls (insert 'baring assholes' joke here) tell us what part your madness plays in your music. And what part your music plays in your madness.

What madness??? I think I'm just being honest, that's all - not afraid to bare it all. With brutal honesty, the 'brutal' tends to leave a bigger mark than the honesty. But I don't see what other people see - I see me.

For those who haven't read your Bio yet, and don't know the background to the 'me' you mention in that last answer, here's a breakdown of the 'breakdown'... after some particularly stressful events in 2003, you went to the doctor and were prescribed medication which took all the stress away and made you feel 'normal'. But the downside was that the meds took away a lot of the good angst which is needed for the creative, artistic process. So in your latest album Abnormal (which you wrote after all the meds were out of your system), and which was the follow-up to Normal, you again reach into the dark side. The lyrics to the title song tell it exactly like it is. When you look back at the 'normal' days, how easy now did it seem then, to tell it like it was? A bit like peeling an orange whilst wearing boxing gloves? You can see it and smell it, but you just can't get at it or taste it! Sorry, not trying to answer the questions for ya - just thinking out loud!

I don't remember it being any different. I also don't remember five minutes ago. Better off that way...

Comfortably Numblefoot!

You've said that getting the music out of the inside of your head, and into the outside of your head brings you peace. Is it the same kind of peace for the angry/crazy/frustrated songs as it is for the more melodic tunes? And how well do the peaces fit together?

The peaces (and the pieces) fit perfectly, like oranges and boxing gloves.


You've been described as a 'musician's musician', so I guess you played quite a few gigs where the first seven rows of the crowd were full of nerdy guitarists who'd stand completely still whilst concentrating on your fingers, and then nod wisely after an intricate bit of solo. And then you joined GN'R and suddenly you're playing arenas and there are loads of women perched on their boyfriends' shoulders, bouncing up and down and throwing their underwear at the stage. Which kinda audience do you prefer, and how high does each score on the Scovillometer?

It's all good - one has what the other doesn't. They complement each other, like orange boxing gloves.

Boxing gloves for oranges? Hmmm, ok.
What has been the most memorable gig you've played as part of GN'R - and what made it so (apart from the one where the most women did the most bouncing and threw the most underwear)?

Gonna write as gigs pop into my head.... Dodging piss bottles at Donington was a memorable one, good gig. Roses everywhere at the venue in Poland. The acoustic gig in NYC the night before leaving for Europe in '06. There was a little dog hangin' around the venue in Greece - made a bed out of my jacket for him to sleep on - I think that was where I lost a wing on the Flying Foot guitar. Madison Square Garden... Budokan... Scandinavian people being very cool... singin' the Grinch as my solo in LA around Christmas... some fun moments... But yeah, all the gigs complement each other - like boxes of orange gloves.


A lot of your fans probably know by now that 'Bumblefoot' is the name of an ulcerative condition that animals get. You called your band Bumblefoot, but through the years the name has become attached to you as an individual. Is Bumblefoot the same person as Ron Thal? Or did you keep the name so that Bumblefoot could take the responsibility (and also the kudos) for the things Ron might do or say or play when Ron wasn't comfortable being Ron? Or to give you the freedom to be Ron separately? Or is it just a nickname that stuck? Or what?

It's just a nickname at this point. Or a name to go with the quirky solo music. When I'm with Guns, I feel like me.

But which 'me' ...? Oh never mind.
So... when you're writing do you develop certain songs as Ron and others as Bumblefoot? And if so, which does what?

Well, they kinda complement each other, like apples and elbow pads.

Not like gloves for orange boxers? Interesting!

Your savant-esque brain can handle a lot of different things going on at the same time - so when you're on the road with GN'R do you still get ideas for your solo albums and if so, how do you go about saving the ideas or even working on them?

Ya know, I have a real hard time writing on the road. The only song I wrote on the road was "Simple Days", everything else was written between touring. Whenever I write songs, I keep them in my head, they usually don't leave my head until I show Dennis (Dennis Leeflang, drummer) the songs.

For years now via your website and messageboard, you've had a very close inter-action with the fans. How important is the 'community' thing to you? And are there any down-sides to being so accessible?

The connection is everything. Sometimes I'm away for days without seeing a computer, but I try to stay connected amidst everything going on whenever I can. Everything in life has a downside if you look for it - but I'm not gonna look for it right now. I have too much fun with you - I'm not gonna start bitchin' about anything.

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Dark Angel on July 27, 2008, 09:27:06 AM
Tell us about your recording studio - how has it developed, how big a part of your life is it at the moment, what bands are you working with, etc.

It's still a crack den. But it works. It's my place to make the noise I need to make. I invested in a bunch of analog mastering gear, have a nice little mastering suite. Been doing a bit of that lately...

Not counting musicians, which three people most inspire you - and for each one tell us why.

1 - My dad. He's got a cool hair-line.
2 - My wife, for stopping me from obnoxiously trying to piss people off by putting names like Hitler on this list
3 - Edison - he invented shit.

OK, now the word association thingy. For each of these, tell us the first word or phrase that comes into your head (and remember that I'll know if you're lying!)
1. Chair Ass

Pete Way
2. Sparkly glittery MySpace butterflies
Pete Way
3. Pete Way
4. Methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutam ylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutamin ylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutam ylglysylalanylphenyl
alanylvalylprolylphenylalanylyalylthreo nylleucylglcycylaspartylprolylglicyliso leucyglutamylglutaminlserylleucyllysyli soleucylaspartylthreonylle
ucylisoleucylglutamylalanylglyclyalanyl aspartylalanylleucygl utamylleucylgluycylisoleucylproluylphen ylalanyserylaspartyprolylleucelalanylas p
artylglycylprolylthreonylisolleucygluta minylasparaginylalanythreonylleucylargi nylalanylphenylalany lalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolyla lan
ylglutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglglut amylmethionylleucyalanylleucylisoleucyl arginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolyuthr eonylisoleucylprol ylisol
eucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosyl alanylasbaraginylleucylvalylphenylalany lsparaginyyllysylglycylisoleucylasparty lglutamylphenylalanylyl
tyrosylalanylglutaminylcysteinyl glutamyllysylvalylglycylvalylspartylser ylvalylleucylvallalanylaspartylvalylpro lylvalvlglutaminylglutamylserylala
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laspartylalanylaspartylaspartyspartyleu cylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalan ylseryltyroslglycylarginylglycyltyrosyl threonyltyrosylleucylleucyls
erylarginlalanylglycylvalylthreonylglyc ylalanylglutamylasparaginyl arginylanylalanylleucylprolylleucylaspa aginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysyll
eucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparagimylala nylalanyprolylprolylleucylglutaminylgly cylphenlalanylglycylis oleyucylserylalanylprolylaspartylglutam i
nylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylalspa rtylalanylglycylalanylalanylglycylalany lasoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleuc ylbalyllysylisoleucylis oleu
cylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginy lisoleucylglutamylpronylglutamyllysylme thionylluecylalanylalanyoeucyllysylvaly lphenylalanylvalylglut
amilylprolylmethionyllysylalanylal anylthreonylarginylserine (I think I spelled that correctly - please correct me if I didn't).
You always put me in such a weird fucking mood. I love you Batttttty.

And I love you too Bumble! Crazy as an orange box full of gloves....


Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: AdZ on July 27, 2008, 10:39:54 AM
This is quite difficult to read..

Edit: Fixed :P

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Robman? on July 27, 2008, 10:44:35 AM
Can you separate the questions from the answers or bolden one or the other by any chance DA?

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Genesis on July 27, 2008, 10:47:13 AM
Thanks for the link.

Can you separate the questions from the answers or bolden one or the other by any chance DA?

It's better on the linked site.

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Death Cube K on July 27, 2008, 11:02:12 AM
Interesting approach, making the interviewer talk twice as much as the guy being interviewed.  :hihi:

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: PJ on July 27, 2008, 01:29:21 PM
one of the worst interview i have ever seen

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: GNRreunioneventually on July 27, 2008, 02:52:21 PM
can we have a pic of the broad?

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: Verse Chorus Verse on July 27, 2008, 03:34:17 PM
What's with all the gibberish at the end?

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: ppbebe on July 27, 2008, 03:40:57 PM
Interesting approach, making the interviewer talk twice as much as the guy being interviewed.  :hihi:

and twice as mad.  :hihi:
I had to google pete way. Is this ba5ty person a UFO maina?

thanks da, fun read. : ok:

Title: Re: Batttttty goes on a hot date with Bumblefoot - Interview
Post by: RancidPunx on July 27, 2008, 05:02:22 PM
No matter who I want to be in GNR, it seems impossible to not like this dude.